Mask-wearing staff at hospitals in Preston and Chorley are being encouraged to wear photo-ID badges to help foster a stronger connection with their patients.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has adopted the #AndILookLikeThis initiative to help break down the barrier that can be created by the use of masks.
Alison Cookson, Patient Experience & Involvement Lead at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Face masks have quickly become a fact of life, especially in hospitals where we are required to wear them at all times to protect ourselves, our patients and colleagues.
“But the masks hide the bottom part of our face which means that, no matter how hard we try, it impacts on our ability to communicate, both verbally and non-verbally.
“This idea will help our patients to recognise us and brings back that element of familiarity and personality that helps us to talk to patients effectively and with compassion, and maybe bring a little humour too.”
The #AndILookLikethis initiative originated at Chesterfield Hospital, where Consultant Cardiologist Dr David Sandler introduced the idea to create a stronger connection with his patients and remind them that behind the PPE is a friendly face, a compassionate smile and a listening ear.
Staff at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals have been provided with a template to make their own badge so they can be part of the initiative.
Lyndsay Parsons, Head of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Practitioners at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Due to the current PPE requirements including face masks and visors, our patients, carers and colleagues are unable to see the whole of our face including a smile. The #AndILookLikeThis campaign will help our health care staff to show the warm, caring and friendly smiling face underneath the PPE, which goes a long way to help people feel re-assured and comforted during these unprecedented times."